Towards improved cover glasses for photovoltaic devices

ALLSOPP, Ben, ORMAN, Robin, JOHNSON, Simon, BAISTOW, Ian, SANDERSON, Gavin, SUNDBERG, Peter, STALHANDSKE, Christina, GRUND, Lina, ANDERSSON, Anne, BOOTH, Jonathan, BINGHAM, Paul and KARLSSON, Stefan (2020). Towards improved cover glasses for photovoltaic devices. Progress in Photovoltaics: research and applications.

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For the solar energy industry to increase its competitiveness there is a global drive to lower the cost of solar generated electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) module assembly is material-demanding and the cover glass constitutes a significant proportion of the cost. Currently, 3 mm thick glass is the predominant cover material for PV modules, accounting for 10-25% of the total cost. Here we review the state-of-the-art of cover glasses for PV modules and present our recent results for improvement of the glass. These improvements were demonstrated in terms of mechanical, chemical and optical properties by optimizing the glass composition, including addition of novel dopants, to produce cover glasses that can provide: (i) enhanced UV protection of polymeric PV module components, potentially increasing module service lifetimes; (ii) re-emission of a proportion of the absorbed UV photon energy as visible photons capable of being absorbed by the solar cells, thereby increasing PV module efficiencies; (iii) Successful laboratory-scale demonstration of proof-of-concept, with increases of 1-6% in Isc and 1-8% Ipm. Improvements in both chemical and crack resistance of the cover glass were also achieved through modest chemical reformulation, highlighting what may be achievable within existing manufacturing technology constraints.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Applied Physics; 0204 Condensed Matter Physics; 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering; 0912 Materials Engineering
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2020 14:58
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 23:32

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